"Every time you replace hatred with love, overcome your nagging desire for the umpteenth ‘last’ drink, replace your usual biting retort to your companion with silence or – why not – kindness, you are helping all those on the planet struggling with the same challenge, be it in an infinitesimal manner. Which drop of water constituting an ocean is unimportant? The longest mile is made up of many inches."
In some intuitive way we probably know this is true but so often my small drop of kindness can feel so insignificant. If I take one step towards justice by quietly speaking out when a casual conversation veers towards racism, it may seem to fall on deaf ears. Yet millions of drops create a river of kindness and billions of inches eventually circumnavigate the globe.
The writer of this Blog is someone I've never heard of but he has written a book about praying blessings for ourselves and others. He says: "There is hardly a moment in life during which it is not possible to bless. In the street, on the bus or underground, at work, at home with your companion or family, your silent blessings will uplift and heal."
The more well known known author, John O'Donahue, has also written a Book of Blessings so maybe this Biblical practice of blessing others is being rediscovered as something that really does carry spiritual substance.
Of course, like any spiritual practice, it can become rote and done without heart. I cringe a bit if someone says "Bless you!" as a throw away comment. But sincerely wanting the person I pass on the street, or the barista in the cafe, to feel warmed by an unseen blessing is one of those drops in the ocean of love. I expect I will fail many times every day (in the same way I 'fail' many times to stay focussed in twenty minutes of meditation!) but when I do remember it will change how I am towards others and we will both be blessed.